This month’s customer spotlight is =PR= One Loudoun customer Ryan Smith. This December Ryan completed his first =PR= monthly challenge, The =PR= Advent Calendar and “loved it!”. All month long he shared the fun on Instagram! You may have noticed him popping up daily on @PotomacRiverRunning ‘s Instagram story as he took on a task a day! Ryan noted that the challenge card “was so motivating and was just what I was looking for- something to give me structure and routine.” He is already looking forward to the first one of 2021. We asked Ryan of all the tasks on the =PR= Advent calendar which was his favorite and here’s what he had to say: run a holiday race, workout in a crazy sweater, and run like Rudolph on a night run! To learn more about Ryan and his adventures completing the =PR= advent calendar read on!
Q U I C K Q U E S T I O N S
Runner Full Name: Ryan Smith
Age Category: 29
Favorite PR Race: Firecracker 5k!
Favorite Race of All Time: Walt Disney World Half Marathon
First Race Ever: Presque Isle Half Marathon
Best Race Memory: Proposing to my wife at the finish line of the Walt Disney World Marathon
How did you get started running or walking? Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run program – after a few weeks I was hooked!
Favorite Running Event/Distance? Half Marathon!
What is your favorite part about running/racing?
Running: the sense of accomplishment I get after finishing a run
Racing: The adrenaline rush of the finish line…and getting a new medal to add to my collection of course!
Who is your biggest cheerleader/supporter? My wife! She’s either running with me or cheering me on!
What is your Spirit Animal? Why? A Manatee! They’re friendly, lovable, and unique
What is your life’s motto? Words to live by? “You’ll never know if you don’t ask”
T H I S O R T H A T
Distance: Long or Short
Long! The half marathon distance is a sweet spot for me – it’s a challenge you have to train for, but it doesn’t tie up all of your weekends for 5 months like marathon training does.
Post Race Snack: Banana or Bagel – preferably from Wegmans!
Running Company: Alone or Together – I enjoy talking with someone on a run.
Time of Day: Rise and Grind (Morning) or Night Time is the Right Time (Evening)
I’m a morning runner so Rise and Grind! I love going to bed early on a weekend knowing I’m going to crush a long run the next morning.
Location: Road Runner or Trail Crusher
Run: Workout or Long Run
Top shoes picks:
2) Brooks Ghost
Top 3 running related Items:
1) Apple Watch
2) Brooks Shoes
3) Balega Socks
Top 3 Fun Facts, Tell Us Something About Yourself!
1) I’ve run 20 Half Marathons and 3 Marathons
2) I recently started a videography side gig called Video by Ryan Smith
3) I once spent New Year’s Eve in Times Square – waited 13 hours for a one minute ball drop!
Favorite place to run or train:
1) Streets of my hometown
2) Main Street USA
Racing is . . . exhilarating.
Running is . . . addicting.
My last run was . . . “Frosty 5k” in 60 degree weather!
My favorite thing about running is . . . the way it changes my life – crossing the finish line of my first marathon changed my life forever.
If I wasn’t running I’d be . . . thinking about running – no joke! I think about running every single day, multiple times a day.
Tell us about your journey completing the =PR= Advent calendar: The =PR= Advent calendar has been great motivation for me and given me something to look forward to each day. I especially liked the “Run Like Rudolph on a Night Run” challenge. I never would have run through our neighborhood at night and seen all the beautiful Christmas lights! I planned to do 3 miles and ended up doing 4 miles because I enjoyed it so much.
What is your favorite thing about the holiday season? Getting to hear my favorite Christmas song – “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” by Darlene Love! If you’re ever looking for some Christmas spirit, YouTube “Darlene Love on David Letterman.” You’ll thank me later.
How do you stay motivated to run, train, etc. during the cooler months? I’m a very structured person and there are two things I can always count on to keep on track and get me out the door – buying a new pair of shoes and getting a race on the calendar.
What are you most looking forward to in 2021? The return of in-person races! I miss that race atmosphere and crossing new races off my bucket list. I can’t wait to until we can travel and run together again!
Do you have any big running related plans for 2021? Well I was supposed to run the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge in January and unfortunately it was cancelled because of the pandemic. I plan to take advantage of our great local races and now that I have the =PR= Race Pass, I’m really looking forward to running some =PR= races and getting some local running swag!!